A SOUTHAMPTON book seller says she hopes readers will continue to turn the page on Bookshop Day.

Carol Diaper, at October Books in Portswood, says that despite lockdowns adding to pressure on the shop, residents have continued to have a thirst for reading.

Figures show that more than 200 million printed books were sold in the UK last year for the first time since 2012.

Bookshops hope this trend will continue with the UK’s Bookshop Day, which is held today, to encourage readers to head to their their local bookshop.

Ms Diaper said: “Our store did face some challenges during the first lockdown, but things got better in the second lockdown.

“People were rediscovering books and wanting to be supportive.”

For some dedicated readers, Carol feels the lockdown and the extra time was liberating.

She says, “I know friends who have been able to sit down and read without feeling bad about all the other things they should be doing.”

October Books was founded in 1977 in Bevois Valley, and now it is situated at the heart of Portswood’s independent high street.

Their book stock includes new releases, best sellers, general popular fiction, non-fiction and children’s books, alongside a broad range of specialised radical books.

The store also hosts a programme of events in both the shop and at a multi-purpose community space.